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Boxing Day on GW/NW-047

Christmas tends to be a 100% family time in our house, so I don’t get time to escape and get some activating done. This year however, I fell for the job of Dad’s taxi, on a run up to Denbigh in North Wales in order to pick up my Daughter, her partner and her Mother-in-Law. They were to be picked up approximately 12:30 then returned to my QTH for Christmas dinner number two. Anne was hoping for a lie in after a hectic Christmas Day, so I told her I would get up quietly and “go for a walk” prior to my taxi job.

There are several summits near Denbigh, but the two I had in mind were Foel Goch GW/NW-039 which still owes me 3 points in winter bonus or Mwdwl-eithin GW/NW-047. I had “picked the brains” of Robert GW0PEB who had recently activated the latter and decided that five points were better than three.
I set off from Connah’s Quay on a beautiful blue skied, sunny morning and headed up to Mold. From there it’s a straight forward run along the A541 Mold – Denbigh Road, then out of Denbigh on the A543 towards Pentre Foelas. I have never enjoyed a morning drive so much, it was a stunning morning although the temperature was just 0c.

I had already decided to follow Richard G3CWI’s route which was the same advice offered by Robert. They said it was a stroll of about 40 minutes, so I allowed myself 1 hour, as it happened, I made it in 55 minutes with the mandatory few stops enroute “to admire the views” of course. I would advise anyone to use Richard’s well explained route to this summit, with one exception, don’t make the same mistake as me when you climb over the fence. The fence was icy and my foot slipped off the rail causing me to land with one leg either side of the top rail!! Two small lumps appeared, one behind each ear and I could have sung soprano for any choir for the following 30 minutes. The summit has a good shelter which was a Godsend because the wind had picked up significantly and it’s chill factor had sent the temperature very low. The views from this summit are some of the finest that I have experienced and is a rich reward for such an easy climb. I would strongly recommend this hill to those who haven’t activated it yet.

I had alerted for 7.032-cw only, knowing that it would have to be a quick activation, a big mistake because there was a contest in full flow on a packed solid 40m band, only 5 stations were worked on 40m-cw because of the severe QRM. Luckily, my short dipole has 30m availability, so the QSY was made to the majic band. A further 27 QSO’s were soon in the log, thanks to the much quieter 30m band, including a S2S contact with Aage LA1ENA on LA/TM-091, thanks Aage. I almost had Phil G4OBK as the only G station in the log, but unfortunately someone decided to “help” and QSP’d my report to Phil. This is the most annoying thing to happen, because I’m certain that Phil would have eventually got his report. I did try to tell Phil that I was sending a new RST to him, but Phil is a gentleman and strong ambassador for SOTA and declared it as a nil QSO. Sorry Phil.

The descent was slightly quicker, just 40 minutes and it was a relief to get out of my weather gear and into a still warmish car ready for the trip back into Denbigh, then home for dinner. On arrival at Denbigh, chaos ensued as the Denbigh hunt was setting out for the yearly Boxing Day hunt, an event which is watched by a crowd in the hundreds. As if that wasn’t enough, the start of the hunt is followed by a load of lunatics competing in a barrel rolling contest, from the top of the town to the bottom, approx three quarters of a mile down a steep hill. I gave both events a very wide berth and opted for the back streets.

What a terrific day out, followed with an equally superb 2nd Christmas dinner with all the trimmings, then a snooze in the armchair, the height of contentment. I will without doubt return to this summit for a multiband activation after 1st January for another 5 points and maybe take in another summit with it. Thanks to all who called in and to HA7UG and 2E0PXW for the spots and special thanks to Aage LA1ENA/P for the S2S.

Equipment – FT857 @ 25w, 7ah SLAB, 40/30m linked dipole @ 5 metres up at the centre.

Total QSOs = 32
40m-cw = 5
30m-cw = 27
S2S = 1
DXCCs = 13 – SP, OK, HB9, I, DL, OE, HA, S5, ON, F, LA, SM, EA

73
Mike GW0DSP

In reply to GW0DSP:

An excellent report Mike… and yes indeed, it is a very pleasant summit with superb views. Seems you are not such a slouch either - you weren’t that much slower ascending than I was, but my excuse was I did it in very strong winds that certainly made me glad of the shelter, especially as I’d been out since dawn.

Keep up the good work - hopefully catch you on a summit soon.

73 es HNY, Gerald

In reply to G4OIG:

In reply to GW0DSP:

Seems you are not such a slouch either - you weren’t that much slower

ascending than I was, but my excuse was I did
it in very strong winds that certainly made me glad of the shelter,
especially as I’d been out since dawn.

73 es HNY, Gerald

I wish Gerald, hi. The 55 minutes was pure walking time and did not include my 3 X 5 minute stops, purely to, erm, “take in the views”, hi. Car to summit was approx 70 minutes, but 55 minutes walking sounds better, hi.

Mike GW0DSP

That’s still pretty good going Mike. I don’t do that walk any faster, possibly a little slower. FB, WD.

Tom M1EYP

In reply to M1EYP:

I’m curious Tom, is that on your own or accompanied by Liam. I am well pleased with myself to think that I wasn’t far behind Gerald’s and your times, especially if you did it alone.

I intend going back sometime in the new year for another 5 points and will set my watch, just in case I’m kidding myself, hi. Irrespective of my time, I think to date, that was my favourite summit, well, definitely as far as the views go.

Mike GW0DSP

In reply to GW0DSP:
let us all know when you are doing it,
Then maybe we can get others involved and have a race to see who can do it fastest or slowest,
Just a thought,
Steve m0sgb

In reply to GW0DSP:
Hi Mike
Sorry we didn’t quite make it on Boxing Day when you visited NW-047.

I do take a lot of satisfaction in making contacts that are a challenge on HF, and not just in SOTA - I have done since I got my ticket in 1982. I think you are the same, so it was a dissapointment to both of us when your report to me from GW/NW-047 was passed on to me by another station. I know this was meant to help make the contact but it does the opposite. This only seems to happen in CW mode and it is very frustrating. It’s happened a handfull of times since I started in SOTA around 2005.

Can I ask in future that chasers are patient and they at least give the receiving station sufficient chance to get the report themselves from the activating station. I hope this message as well as yours will prevent this from happening again.

Happy New Year to all!

Phil G4OBK

It has happened in FM and SSB modes as well Phil. However, it needn’t prevent you from having a valid contact. You could always try again with a different report being sent. In fact, my view would be to completely ignore the “helper”. If you’ve made the contact, then it is good, regardless of the behaviour of a 3rd party. If you haven’t, then you haven’t. You know yourself.

On NW-043 the other day, I had somebody sending a K at the end of all my overs, supposedly to (impatiently) help chasing stations. I found that really annoying, but certainly didn’t allow it to invalidate any of my contacts. The “invalid” ones, that I did not log, were those where 2-way reports were not successfully exchanged. In weird condx on that activation, G3VQO, MW0IDX and DL1FU fell into that category, but all the rest were OK, despite the 3rd party “K”-er.

Tom M1EYP

FB Tom. I bet you felt the windy condx on Cloud this morning. That Topograph amy not have helped you much.

I don’t see the man sending K as a big problem myself. Interesting that you have had the “helper problem” on voice modes as well.

Up late here so I missed the 160m action from G0AZS/P earlier and from yourself on Cloud. I just worked Marc on 40m however. My fault for getting up at 4.45am for an hour or so to try to work Monk Apollo on Mount Athos in phone on 160m - no contact made! I went back to bed at 6.00am and only surfaced at 8.30am.

73 Phil

In reply to G4OBK:

I agree with Phil. Most ops send a K for the benefit of struggling receiving stations, to let them know that you have put it back to them, rather than to announce your overs every time. It can be a help, whereas the QSPers are a real pain. They probably do it in good will, thinking that they are helping, but they do just the opposite and void the contact. If I get a QSP report, I ask for a new report and if I am satisfied that I have heard it ok then and only then will I claim it as a valid QSO, otherwise I go into a little rage in my shack and don’t book them.

Mike GW0DSP